States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|March 11, 2010||
FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT, TAX EVASION CHARGES
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL IAN SOHN, 34, of Fairfield, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to charges related to his embezzlement of campaign funds from the Christopher Shays for Congress Committee.
According to court documents and statements made in court, SOHN was employed as the campaign manager for the Christopher Shays for Congress Committee from January 2003 through December 2008, and also was employed by the United States House of Representatives from January 2003 through May 2008. In pleading guilty today to one count of conversion of campaign funds, SOHN admitted that, from 2005 to 2008, he embezzled a total of $252,424.10 from the Campaign. SOHN admitted that he stole the money from the Campaign by writing himself checks and using the Campaign’s ATM/debit card to withdraw cash and make debit card purchases. SOHN did not have signature authority on the Campaign’s bank accounts, so he forged the signature of the Campaign Committee Treasurer on the checks that he wrote to himself.
SOHN also pleaded guilty today to one count of tax evasion stemming from his filing of a fraudulent federal tax return for the 2008 tax year. On the tax return, SOHN stated that his taxable income for 2008 was $75,860, and that the amount of tax due was $15,617. However, SOHN’s taxable income for 2008 was approximately $163,949 on which he owed approximately $43,468 in federal income tax.
SOHN has admitted that he failed to report a total of approximately $527,136 in taxable income for the calendar years 2005 through 2008, which resulted in a loss of $95,955 to the Internal Revenue Service.
SOHN is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on May 27, 2010, at which time SOHN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $350,000. SOHN also will be ordered to pay full restitution to the Shays Campaign Committee, and back taxes, penalties and interest to the Internal Revenue Service.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.
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